Testosterone is the primary androgen or male sex hormone; according to a 2001 "Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach" article, 95 percent of circulating testosterone is produced by the testes. Testosterone is also found in females but in much lesser concentrations. According to MIMS USA, testosterone decreases the excretion of creatine, a compound used for the storage of energy in muscles.
Production and Regulation of testosterone
The production of testosterone is regulated by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which are both structures found in the brain. The hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, which in turn controls testicular activity; inactivity or reduce activity of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, will result in reduced testosterone production. Testosterone is also converted to DHT -- a more potent androgen -- and estriol, a hormone found in large quantities in females. Testosterone is responsible for the visible characteristics that are attributed to masculinity, such as deepening of the voice, increased lean muscle mass and increased hair growth on the face, armpits and pubic area.
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Benefits of Creatine
Creatine occurs naturally in muscles and is a very effective medium for storing energy in muscles; creatine is a popular supplement used by athletes and professional bodybuilders to enhance physical ability and improved performance. According to a 2008 "National Academies" article, supplementation of creatine is beneficial for short duration high-intensity exercises; however, there are no benefits associated with the use of creatine for enhancing performance in endurance training or aerobic exercise. According to the "National Academies" article, the use of creatine for short duration high-intensity training resulted in 5 to 15 percent gain in muscle strength and a 2 to 5 pound increase in muscle mass. Since testosterone slows the excretion of creatine, increasing testosterone concentration in the blood will likely enhance benefits associated with creatine supplementation.
In men, testosterone is associated with youth and vitality; with advanced age, testosterone levels drop dramatically, resulting in the various physical manifestations associated with aging. There many benefits to testosterone supplementation in people with low testosterone, which include faster muscle repair, reduction in body fat, improvement in mood, increased strength, increased energy, cessation of hair loss and improved sex drive. Testosterone is also needed for normal sperm production; there is improved sperm production with testosterone supplementation. The most effective way for supplementing testosterone is via injection, other methods including creams and patches are also available, but are less effective. Testosterone must be supplemented under the recommendation of a physician because inappropriate use of testosterone can further suppress the body's ability to naturally produce testosterone.
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements used by bodybuilders for enhancing physical endurance and strength. Creatine can be ingested in the form powder mixed with a drink or in capsule or tablet form. After ingestion and absorption, creatine is uptaken by muscles and converted to phosphocreatine, a high energy molecule stored as energy reserve in muscles. According to a 2009 "Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine" study, creatine use results in the increased conversion of testosterone to the more active dihydrotestosterone or DHT; DHT concentration increased by 56 percent in seven days. DHT is main factor in the development of male pattern baldness and prostatic hyperplasia or prostate enlargement.
- "Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach"; The Gonad; Nussey S. and Whitehead S.; 2001
- Mims USA: Testosterone and Derivatives
- "The National Academies"; Use of Dietary Supplements by Military Personnel; 2008
- "Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine"; Three Weeks Of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Affects Dihydrotestosterone To Testosterone Ratio In College-Aged Rugby Players; van der Merwe J, et al.; 2009